Linn County supervisors declare state of emergency

Move allows access to emergency funds

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (left) greets Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad during a tour of flood protection progress in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett (left) greets Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad during a tour of flood protection progress in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Linn County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency for the county due to impending flooding.

The board on Saturday unanimously approved the declaration, which allows the board access to emergency funds, opens up mutual aid possibilities and the potential for Federal Emergency Management Agency funds. The amount would depend on actual damage costs.

The state of emergency will be for yesterday through next Thursday, Sept. 29.

Updated projections put the Cedar River’s crest at 24.5 feet on Monday evening, and Linn County incident commander Steve Estenson said the latest forecast shows high floodwater lingering in the county longer than first anticipated.

“Now it looks like after it spikes, it’s going to plane off slower, so we may have water here for a longer duration, based on the model,” he explained.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office closed Friday and has been surrounded by eight feet of HESCO barriers to protect the building up to as much as 29 feet of water, Estenson added.

Linn County Jail also has closed, with inmates being relocated to neighboring counties. The County Courthouse and Juvenile Justice Center are preparing to close Monday.

The Jean Oxley Public Services Center, 935 Second St. SW, also will be closed on Monday, with many services relocated temporarily to the Community Services Department, 1240 26th Avenue Ct.

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Estenson added that the county is working closely with the city of Cedar Rapids and other communities such as Palo — which began some mandatory evacuations Saturday — to coordinate sandbagging efforts and provide aid.

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